February 17, 2016 Subject:
Jerry ripping through Loser
For some reason, this Loser sticks out, just good vibes through it all. Can't wait to see Dark Star Orchestra next week!
March 2, 2012 Subject:
Top Ten for 1987 !!
Well I was seriously considering 4/2/87 for a top show, but the sound quality on all versions is just too hissy to really get a feel of the band's sound.
Also, I'm not real impressed by the first set on 4/2. Although the Bird Song, Music ending is quite strong, as is the Scarlet>Fire in Set Two. I might change my mind later, as I'm opt to do.
But 4/11/87 is really firing up my brain tonight, as it did that first time back in 1998 when I got this show (as the TXT file says) from good 'ol
GD Live. No CD burners in those days - I would download the SHN's, convert to Wav and put on cassettes - remember those?? Then I would delete the SHN's from my hard drive. Auuuggghh!! Seems stupid now, but archiving shows wasn't my reality back then. That was soon to change!
So this pick may be a bit on the sentimental side for me. Along with 9/18/87, it was my first venture into 1987. But listening now again after many years, I can see why this was a much circulated show even back in those pre-LAMA days.
And honestly I'm not real pleased with the song list tonight. Good, but no special Bird Song, or Shakedown, Other One or Morning Dew. Normally I'd pass this one up. But the playing, my God the playing!!
Bucket opens up the show with a blast, then Jerry drives the crowd to a frenzy with the jam in Sugaree. Okay, Garcia has come to play, he remembers the fingers and how to make the magic.
This is a sign that we're in for a real barn burner (it's Chicago, get it? Hah). Minglewood is also hot, the drummers pounding the message home.
Loser is where Jerry really connects to the crowd, and the show takes off. Remember, this is the first time the Midwest crowd has seen the Dead since the coma - so they are psyched to say the least to see that Jerry is okay and the long strange trip is still on track. Garcia's tone on the solo is fat and has teeth!! More like 1972.
Bob does a good job on Desolation. How is it he can remember the 238 verses of this song, yet still forget the lyrics of Truckin?? The wonders of Bob's brain.
Big RxR Blues is another clue that Jerry is feeling confident and he reaches back to 1971 to deliver an uptempo smoking version. Music is short but tight and focused. Jerry throws off flurries of notes like 1977, clean and well timed.
Touch is a predictable opening to Set Two, but it's done with gusto and the crowd roars their approval. I didn't like this song much back then, but since I've come to see it as a perfect statement of the era for all us aging 60's children. Women Smarter keeps the ball in the air with an infectious groove, again pumped up to highway cruising speed by the drums. The interplay between Jerry and Brent is FUNKY deluxe.
Terrapin immediately reminds you that this is the band that can have you dancing like a fool one minute, then send your brain spinning among the stars like a pinball the next minute. The sound quality here on Terrapin, BTW is fantastic. When you can hear both Billy's cymbals and Phil, you're in the A+ zone.
Jerry's voice is pretty darn good here, by 80's standards. And the jam at the middle section is absolutely stunning and a testament to what this band can do when they're tuned in. Then Jerry unleashes the dragon and with 4th dimensional drumming and amazing keys from Brent they completely take the roof off.
Jerry-Space has him playing modal blues with a heavy distortion, very Pink Floyd Like. He leaps, growls, spins and warps through multi-colored Spanish sounding murals of notes. Then things get really, really bendy and Gumby-like for awhile.
Hold on to your time/space locus !! This ain't 1966 folks!!
Uhhhh, where was I??
Oh, Truckin!! Truckin grabs you by the toes and drags you off the ceiling. Man!!! who thought they could summon this much fire and groove outa this old chestnut in 1987? The crowd is in rapture by this point, and their reaction really helps make this version special. Phil and the drums evoke rolling thunder - whooah - watch that BOMB! But Jerry is in anthem mood tonight, so he quickly brings the truck to a stop - down by the docks of the city.
A heartfelt and chilling version of the Wharf Rat.
The harmonies will choke you up. Bomb!! And another! Now Brent's B3 swirls a wall of sound around Jerry's piercing star nova leads. Jerry's blazing solo on Stones put a huge smile on my face, what's left of it - and I don't even like this song!
The crowd participation in NFA, and their refusal to break the chain, keeping the flame alive through to the encore. That, and the ensuing Black Muddy River is, dear readers, an experience I will leave you to color in with your own crayons and private reflections.
A stellar show that stands test of time. Soon to turn 25 years old in 2012!! Hmmm..... I wonder if I saved any of that Clown blotter??